I know this is an older project on this website. However, I only recently happened upon this treasure trove of plans. As such, what better project than a new table and matching bench for the family? I made some adjustments to the bench as a result of the comments section. Essentially, I shortened the bench so it would slide between the legs of the table (65" instead of 72" as the plans call for). I also moved the stretcher supports to the inside of the table legs and shortened the stretcher (70" instead of 74" as the plans call for) to give a few more inches to push chairs in. I had every intention of staining the entire project uniformly. My wife really enjoyed the contrast between the dark and light, you see which idea I kept! The legs are a natural stain with clear coat. The tops are Minwax jacobean stain, I did two coats and a light sanding to expose some of the grain under the darkness of the stain. The cutting and assembly of the table and bench was rather quick. I would estimate 3 hours total of cutting and assembly. However, I spent a good amount of time on the sanding and staining. I would have been able to complete the finish quicker if the weather hadn't turned cold for about a week and slowed my dry times down. Finished the stains with a couple layers of polyurethane satin finish.
Minwax Jacobean stain for tops
Minwax polyurethane satin finish